Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Health Education

First Advisor

Kittleson, Mark

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the pregnancy related experiences of Bangladeshi immigrant women living in a major American metropolitan area: New York City. The study was conducted using an in-depth interview based qualitative research design in which data were collected from ten mothers through semi-structured interviews. Additionally, data were collected through researcher<&rsquo>'s observation; informal interviews with hospital administrators, healthcare personnel, non governmental agency executives; and documents analysis. The study and the design of the interview guide were influenced by the theoretical framework of the PEN-3 Model (Airhihenbuwa, 1995). A combination of purposeful and snowball sampling technique was used to select 10 women from three boroughs of New York City. The study came up with six major findings. They are as follows: 1. The trauma caused by transition into a new land is adversely affecting pregnancy experiences. 2. Interaction of culture and religion is shaping the health behavior and decision making process of the immigrant mothers and their ability to access quality healthcare. 3. Mothers living in joint family establishments are getting more social support than their single family counterparts 4. Language appears to be a big barrier in communication between study participants and healthcare professionals 5. Healthcare professionals<&rsquo>' lack of understanding of cultural/ethnic diversity are hindering the proper delivery of healthcare services 6. Social stigma, physicians<&rsquo>' lack of understanding of contextual factors keep the mental health problem under reported by immigrant women

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